This recognition aims to highlight the contributions and challenges being faced by the Hindu American community in California
Ash Kalra, a California state assembly member yet again introduced a resolution to recognize October as Hindu American Awareness and Appreciation Month in California. The bill stated that it is a mark of recognition and acknowledging the major contributions made by Californians of Hindu heritage to the state and aims to spread awareness and understanding of the Hindu-American community. The month of October is significant because it is the birth month of Mahatma Gandhi and is often when major Hindu holidays such as Navaratri and Diwali are celebrated.
In 2013, the first state-wide recognition of the Hindu-American community and their contributions was implemented. This was a result of combined efforts of the Hindu American Foundation, HAF, and Ash Kalra, whereby they initiated a bill to officially acknowledge and appreciate the significant contributions made by Hindu Americans, and introduced the same resolution named ‘Hindu American Awareness and Appreciation Month.’ The state of California for the first time adopted and implemented the resolution, embarking on a journey for fulfilling the long overdue recognition to the Hindu-American community.
“HAF congratulates Assemblymember Ash Kalra for once again speaking up for the contributions of the Hindu American community in California, as well as highlighting the challenges being faced by the community, such as misunderstanding of our sacred symbols the swastika, immigration issues disproportionately affecting our community, and the rise of Hinduphobia, anti-Hindu hate crimes, and bullying of Hindu students. As for the past decade, we are grateful that October will again be recognized as Hindu American Awareness and Appreciation Month,” said HAF Managing Director Samir Kalra.
This recently introduced resolution is a mark of respect and honors the contributions made by approximately 2.23 million Hindu Americans living in the US, in particular California which is home to the largest Hindu American population in the country. It also highlights the importance of the Vedanta philosophy, Ayurvedic medicine, classical Indian art, dance, music, meditation, yoga, literature, and above else the community service.